Friday, 6 May 2011

history and holidays...

Thanks for all your comments - it is lovely to hear from you! And I have learnt some things this week - didn't know there were so many names for my favourite flower of the moment; aquilegia/columbine/granny's sunbonnets and my personal favourite (because it is my mum's, probably made up, name) - fairy bonnets! I love that! And I also learnt about the origins of the name columbine from Sue at The Quince Tree - she has some gorgeous photos. I think its fascinating to discover the origins of names and sayings - I think they often tell us something about our background. I have always loved history - not much of a one for names and dates but I am captivated by the human stories in places and 'things' from the past. I blame an overactive imagination! And probably, just a bit too much time in museums and graveyards as a child...! Sorry to any teachers out there but having teachers for parents had its drawbacks! My father, in particular, had to make every day out, holiday or longish car journey an educational event - stops for a wee were frowned upon but a traipse around a graveyard was an essential element!!!

I think I kept myself amused by telling myself stories about the people on the graves, or in the museum exhibitions; imagining what they would have looked like swishing through the rooms in their period finery... I was probably out by a mile most of the time but its a habit that has stayed with me! We visited Naples and Rome a few years ago and I couldn't quite believe that we were standing on streets and touching pillars that would have had roman soldiers milling around them all those hundreds of years ago! 

I was reminded of this over the bank holiday weekend, when we visited the pretty village of Lavenham in Suffolk - full of 15th Century timber framed buildings and with a palpable sense of history.

It is still very much a 'living' community so, of course, there are all the usual signs of modern life but I felt sure if I just closed my eyes a little and shut out the cars that I might see people in Tudor or Elizabethan dress wandering down the streets...

Of the course, the men in my family thought I was being a bit fanciful... and I suppose I was. Clearly, much has changed over the last 5-600 years - the streets must have been very different and there are a lot of 'new' buildings too but many of the houses are so full of character that I think it would be difficult not to be at least a little swept away by it?!

Aptly named 'The Crooked House', along with many other uneven rooflines and wonky window frames...

You have to wonder how the glass stays put? Or how on earth you fit furniture in?! I can't imagine there are many level walls in some of these, even to stand a wardrobe against!

Some of the detail on the houses was real 'chocolate box' stuff - lovely brickwork, ancient doors, even the chimneys were decorative!

Very picturesque!

With a cat named Basil, had to snap this one!

And I'm sure this is a traditional refreshment...

...went down a treat!!!

It was a lovely little trip out, made extra special by having son 3 with us - on this occasion much more his usual self without the grouchiness of the teen-man that has been turning me greyer over recent weeks! Made me think there is hope that he'll emerge from this growing-up spell at least reasonably intact!

One last gratuitous flower photo...

I took this on the morning of the Royal Wedding. This potentilla sits in a half barrel outside my front door and as I left for work early that morning the dew was still decorating its petals. So pretty.

Back to reality now... modern appliances beckon! The washing machine has just finished, the dishwasher needs to go on and, if we want bread in the morning, I need to put the breadmaker on!

Til next time then, 



  1. What a beautiful place!!! I would love to visit looks almost too quaint x

  2. Really lovely photos - I don't think I've ever seen so many crooked houses and wonky walls in one place before, but like Andrea says, very quaint!


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